The Locarno Film Festival has announced details of its innovative “The Films After Tomorrow” initiative to support indie cinema following its cancellation last month due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“The Films After Tomorrow” will see the prominent Swiss event dedicated to indie cinema award 2 Golden Leopard prizes comprising a cash component. They will go to indie productions that have been blocked and economically damaged by the pandemic.

The prizes will be awarded by two juries and selected from a competition roster of 20 productions in-prog. 10 international titles, and 10 from Switzerland.

The initiative will also involve audience participation since the shortlisted directors will each pick a film that won Locarno’s Golden Leopard in past editions and those titles will be screened online for the public, along with masterclasses, panels, and public discussions.

Submissions for “The Films After Tomorrow” competition start today and end on May 27. The 20-title lineup of projects halted by coronavirus lockdown will be announced on June 25. And the winners will be announced on August 15.

At this difficult time, we tried to come up with a project that would lend a hand to the kind of auteur films that are the bedrock of our program,” said Locarno artistic director Lili Hinstin in a statement.

She added that the prizes worth 70,000 Swiss francs ($72,000) each, “are a small incentive to show that we stand with the film industry.” 

“The Films After Tomorrow” is the central plank of a broader “Locarno 2020 – For The Future of Films” plan being carried out in lieu of the fest that will also comprise initiatives to support shorts and help out Swiss arthouse movie theaters.